Kia Toa lose game in last breath

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 28/05/2012
Simeli Vana
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ

TRY COMING: Kia Toa wing Simeli Vana leaves a trail of College Old Boys carcasses in his wake during the cliffhanger clash at FMG Stadium on Saturday. At left is COB flanker Carll Houston.

Simeli Vana
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
TRY COMING: Kia Toa wing Simeli Vana leaves a trail of College Old Boys carcasses in his wake during the cliffhanger clash at FMG Stadium on Saturday. At left is COB flanker Carll Houston.

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In sporting parlance, College Old Boys have become the burglars of the competition.

After beating Te Kawau with two minutes to spare and beating Kia Toa on Saturday with time up, they remain 10 from 10, still hold the Wallace Challenge Cup and have a 9-point lead.

And poor Te Kawau still lie 15 points adrift of COB after losing to them with two minutes to run in the previous game and to Feilding Old Boys-Oroua with a minute to go at Kimbolton on Saturday. Both results were enough to send coaches searching for a hypodermic.

COB might not be playing well but the club has a tradition of getting the job done.

"We were foxing" hollered COB club captain Martin Chesterfield to the Kias throng when Andrew Durston laced the winning penalty on FMG Stadium. But it had been COB who had gone into their foxholes as the double blues, with half a team out injured and backs Tavita Taufui and Moeaki Samita in the loose forwards, who valiantly scored 19 points in the second half to lead 19-11.

COB's Brad Truesdale and Karl Bryson missed 14 points from kicks in the first half and that kept Kias in touch. With hard running from Simeli Vana and Jade Te Ture, the patched-up Kias stunned COB by scoring three tries.

All COB had going for them was a vastly superior scrum and a sound lineout through lock Hamish McKellar. Kias ran their aimless kicks back, their backs couldn't finish countless chances out wide while Kias new hooker, Api Koro, couldn't throw a straight ball into the lineout.

But COB did fire up and attacked the Kias line near the end when their best forward, flanker Carl Houston, got across from a scrum.

Kias put more of their giants into the breakdowns and should have won this one. But the cries of anguish from Kias when they conceded the late penalty resembled a magpie caught in a possum trap.

At FMG Stadium Stadium: COB 21 (James Koloto, Carl Houston, tries; Brad Truesdale, Andrew Durston 2, pens; Durston con) Kia Toa 19 (Jade Te Ture, Tevita Taufui, Simeli Vana, tries; Te Ture 2 con) HT 8-0.Feilding OB-Oroua 30

Te Kawau 27

When Paora Rakatau slotted his late dropped goal, the Stags could boast they'd done the double over the country rivals from the flat lands.

Rakatau didn't miss a kick but the hero was former Oroua battler Kris Callon who stayed up from the Bs and played 80 as captain. So did Turbos Lewis Marshall whose presence inspired the Stags in this rip-snorter of a game.

Te Kawau kicker Paul Tucker, who had a steady game, had a penalty from 40 metres out with time up to draw the match but it missed by the width of a football. Te Kawau scored tries either side of halftime to lead 21-14, one followed by a brawl, and got out to 27-21. Former Stag Tepasu Thomas gave away an intercept for the Stags' first try.

Te Kawau were dangerous from broken play but the Stags' kicking to the Oroua slope forced Te Kawau back and their men at the back were runners, not kickers. The Stags came on strong in the final quarter, won the war up front, their counter-rucking was superb and they had the edge in territory. They riskily turned down kicks in front, but it paid off with tries.

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At Kimbolton: FOB-Oroua 30 (Kris Callon, Sam Aupouri, Richard Graham, tries; Paora Rakatau 2 con, 2 pen, dg) Te Kawau 27 (Vili Dakunimata 2, Osea Rokubu, tries; Paul Tucker 2 con, 2 pen) HT 14-all.Old Boys Marist 26 Freyberg 12

OBM looked as if they would run away with this one when they led 19-0 at halftime.

And while Freys weren't going to win, they did win the second spell 12-7. Their first try after halftime came when No 8 Junior Tunufai threw a grid-iron pass acrossfield. The second came near the end. Their scrum had improved by then, even if the game had got niggly, and they won most of their lineout throws.

OBM scored four tries for their extra point, had the better scrum, stole two tightheads, and had way more ball in the first half. Wing James Dunlop scored a try close to the break to inflate the score while locks Reece Robinson and Dan Law were part of a stable OBM lineout. Hooker Liam Nichol had a strong game after coming on at halftime.

OBM did lose midfield back Joe Ryan to a serious leg injury so flanker Antonio Kiri Kiri shifted to second-five. Suli Vitau was binned after a high tackle on Kiri Kiri.

At Colquhoun Park: OB-Marist 26 (Isaac Gulliver, Reece Robinson, James Dunlop, Michael Gattsche, tries; Gattsche 3 con) Freyberg 12 (Suli Vitau, Carter Hirini, tries; Johnny Tavita con) HT 19-0.Varsity 59 Feilding 5

Varsity might have been missing five of their guns injured and had four Massey Rams on the bench, but Feilding had about eight out and their depth couldn't cope.

The first half had been even but the students ran in nine tries, running amok in the second spell when they clapped on 37 unanswered points as Feilding back-pedalled. Varsity had a ton of front football from strong work up front and kept moving it through flat passes from Turbo Isaac Thompson, who took the ball to the line and fed the speedy outsides.

Manawatu flanker Callum Gibbins was winning turnovers with his team ruling the loose. Yellows spent the second half tackling. Their best were hooker Richard Taylor, flanker Brendan Clare and No 8 Kane Goodwin.

At Johnston Park: Varsity 59 (Rob Thompson 2, Jarrod Brock, Jordan Te Paa, Tom Hughes, Callum Gibbins, Isaac Thompson, Hamish Northcott, Clayton Stewart, tries; Isaac Thompson 4 con, 2 pen) Feilding 5 (Richard Taylor try) HT 22-5.

- Manawatu Standard

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